11 July 2013

Proposed: the Indiana Church of Homo Matrimony

You know what the state of Indiana needs? A church the only doctrine of which is same-sex marriage in the great State of Indiana. It should be called the Indiana Church of Homo Matrimony, and its greatest -- because only -- sacrament would be same-sex marriage. Which is a misdemeanor for a pastor to solemnize in Indiana. And I dearly, dearly want to see the pastor of the Indiana Church of Homo Matrimony to be arrested and charged for performing their congregation's most holy act. The law in question, via ThinkProgress and AmericaBlog:
IC 31-11-11-7 Solemnization of marriage between persons prohibited from marrying Sec. 7. A person who knowingly solemnizes a marriage of individuals who are prohibited from marrying by IC 31-11-1 commits a Class B misdemeanor.
A "Class B misdemeanor" in Indiana can set you back $1,000 and a half-year in jail. That's a lot of collection money going out the door, and a lot of Sundays with an empty pulpit.

You know, the Founding Fathers foresaw the trouble that comes when the state gets involved in deciding religious questions. As they put it when they were debating the text of what became the First Amendment, it's all fun and games for the legislature to mandate bible instruction in public schools, until you find out that the bible to be taught isn't your bible. Wars have been fought and countless people have been executed for hundreds of years over theological questions from "Should women be allowed to preach?" to "Which of the dozen commandments over multiple chapters and books are the actual Ten Commandments?" And when the government lays out religious doctrine as law and public policy, everyone except for rich, connected men loses.

Which, of course, is the point. It's the real reason underlying invasive, liberty-destroying restrictions on abortions: keep women from controlling their own reproduction, and they'll have to juggle duties at home and work, which keeps them from focusing on work as hard as their co-workers with fewer perceived home-based responsibilities (read: dads, and child-free men), which keeps them from being in a better position to bargain for higher wages and more power in the marketplace and the political arena. Keep young women from terminating unwanted pregnancies, and they'll have exponentially more trouble to finish vocational training or a college degree, which keeps them from fully actualizing themselves and earning more money.

And note that however it's done, when women don't earn decent money, they don't pay much into Social Security, which hurts both Social Security in general but also, and more importantly, themselves in particular, when they've retired (ha-ha) and receive smaller payments than what they would have seen if they'd had the credentials to earn higher paychecks in the first place. Again, fully actualizing themselves. (Which is why Justice Ginsburg practically begged women's rights proponents to give up on due process and aim for equal protection -- the strategy that finally worked against DOMA -- to attack abortion restrictions: privacy isn't the issue, because restrictions on abortion prevent women from "enjoy[ing] equal citizenship stature" and deny them "autonomy to determine [their] life's course" (Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 172 (2007) (Ginsburg, J., dissenting) (PDF)).)

But you know what is still available to a woman? Going to Indiana and starting up a church whose sole practice and faith is solemnizing same-sex marriages.

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